As his aides and allies increasingly worry that President Donald Trump's lengthy appearances at his his daily briefings on the coronavirus pandemic may may backfire politically, the White House is considering scaling them back.
It follows widespread mockery and an immediate and universal backlash from the medical community after the president suggested Thursday evening that people might be able to inject household cleaning items or disinfectants to deter the respiratory illness.
The evaluation of Trump's briefings comes as the worldwide death toll for the coronavirus surpassed 200,000 on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Over 53,000 of those fatalities have been recorded in the U.S. according to an NBC News tally and more than 20,000 in the U.K. making it the fifth nation to reach that grim milestone.
However, in China where the pandemic began, the government reported no new deaths for a 10th straight day.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide, confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
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'I want my life back': Germans protest against lockdown
German police wearing riot gear and face masks tussled with dozens of protesters demonstrating in central Berlin against the lockdown on public life on Saturday.
Protesters shouted “I want my life back” and held up signs with slogans such as “Protect constitutional rights”, and “Freedom isn’t everything but without freedom, everything is nothing.”
Police said on Twitter they had arrested more than 100 people. Some protesters tried to keep a distance from each other, sitting on the ground and wearing masks, but others clustered together. Like dozens of countries around the globe, Germany has put in place strict curbs on public activity to slow transmission of COVID-19, imposing its lockdown on March 17.
The protesters handed out newspapers entitled “Democratic Resistance”, which said the coronavirus is an attempt to seize power by spreading fear. The papers quoted 127 doctors from around the world who question the need for strict lockdowns. Germany has the fifth-highest COVID-19 case total behind the U.S., Spain, Italy and France. It has, however, kept fatalities relatively low after early and extensive testing.
Cuba sends doctors to South Africa to combat coronavirus
Cuba sent 216 healthcare workers to South Africa on Saturday, the latest of more than 20 medical brigades it has sent worldwide to combat the coronavirus pandemic, in what some call socialist solidarity and others medical diplomacy.
The Communist-run country has sent around 1,200 healthcare workers largely to vulnerable African and Caribbean nations but also to rich European countries such as Italy that have been particularly hard hit by the novel coronavirus.
The Trump administration has urged nations not to accept Cuba's medical missions, saying it exploits its workers, which Havana denies. But the calls have largely gone unheeded as overwhelmed healthcare systems have welcomed the help.
Cuba, which has confirmed ,1337 cases of the virus at home and 51 deaths, has one of the world's highest number of doctors per capita and is renowned for its focus on prevention, community-oriented primary health care and preparedness to fight epidemics.
South Africa has recorded 4,361 cases, including 86 deaths, with 161,004 people tested for the virus as of Saturday.
Tony Bennett leads 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco' singalong
San Franciscans serenaded each other Saturday during a citywide singalong of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" led by 93-year-old crooner Tony Bennett.
The native New Yorker tweeted earlier in the day, encouraging people to record the moment and share using the hashtag #SingOutSF.
"I love you San Francisco. Let's sing our song!" he tweeted. "I am so proud to see San Francisco come together and make a difference during this uncertain time."
Some people sang from their balconies while others flocked to the streets but remained physically distant from one another.
Hawaii extends stay-at-home order to May 31
HONOLULU — Gov. David Ige on Saturday extended Hawaii’s stay-at-home order and the mandatory quarantine for visitors through May 31.
“This was not an easy decision. I know this has been difficult for everyone. Businesses need to reopen. People want to end this self-isolation and we want to return to normal,” Ige said in a statement. “But this virus is potentially deadly, especially for the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.”
At a news conference to announce the decision, Ige pointed to alarming COVID-19 clusters on the Big Island and Maui, Hawaii News Now reported. “We still need to remain vigilant.”